Illinois Poison Center hotline 1-800-222-1222
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In an Emergency

1. Call the Poison Center Helpline (1-800-222-1222) if you or another person have been exposed to something that might cause an unwanted and/or unexpected reaction.


2. Remain calm - the majority of poison emergencies can be resolved quickly; over the phone


3. Call 9-1-1 if the person is unconscious or has difficulty breathing.




Calls to Poison Centers from Cell Phones

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Illinois Poison Center Statement


(Chicago) – In January 2002, the Illinois Poison Center partnered with the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and poison centers across the country to introduce a national hot line to help people with poison prevention and treatment advice.  The nationwide, toll-free poison center number, 1-800-222-1222, automatically connects callers with their designated local poison center, from anywhere in the United States.  All calls placed in Illinois are routed to the IPC. 


The national routing system works very well on traditional land lines, however, some callers using cell phones to call the national hot line may not be directed to their designated poison center.  (This is very similar to problems faced by some cell phone callers attempting to call the correct 911 centers.)  The majority of times, callers will be connected to a poison center somewhere in theUnited States and receive the help they need.  However, it has been reported that some callers may be getting busy signals.


The AAPCC has a task force and is working with cell phone companies and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) companies to ensure correct routing.  This is something that will take time and resources to correct from a technological issue.  


Until this problem has been resolved, cell phone users in Illinois who cannot get through to a poison center through the hot line number (1-800-222-1222) can call the Illinois Poison Center’s previously published phone number, 1-800-942-5969, which will route them directly to the IPC.


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222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1900, Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone: 312-906-6136 TDD: 312-906-6185 Fax: 312-627-8006